Rosenbaum & Hunt: Why we're for Avakian

By Diane Rosenbaum of Portland and Dave Hunt of Milwaukie, Oregon. Diane has served in the Oregon Senate for eight years, including service as Senate Majority Leader and President Pro Tem, and previously served 10 years in the Oregon House. Dave served in the Oregon House of Representatives for 10 years, including service as House Majority Leader and Speaker of the House.

Brad Avakian is the only candidate for Secretary of State who truly understands the potential of the office to further Oregon values and progressive priorities.

That’s why we’re supporting him in the May primary.

Brad’s opponents have criticized plans to use the office to hold corporations accountable, take on the climate crisis and return civics education to our public schools.

But we have both served in legislative leadership and know that public service carries a range of responsibilities and opportunities to make change.

Brad’s proposal to return civics education to our public school curriculum -- teaching young people about our democratic process and the importance of voting -- clearly fits within the Secretary of State’s role as chief elections officer and as a member of the State Board of Education. Why do we know Brad can get it done? Because as Labor Commissioner, Brad built a diverse coalition dedicated to expanding skills training for Oregon students. As a result, more than 300 Oregon schools now have access to 21st Century shop classes and hands-on learning. That is one of many reasons that the Oregon Education Association, which represents Oregon’s educators, endorsed Brad for Secretary of State. Just as he did with career and technical education, Brad is the right candidate to lead the charge for civics education in our public schools.

Opponents say we shouldn’t use the office to fight climate change and expand clean energy jobs. But the Secretary of State is one of three members of the State Land Board, and can play a crucial role in making state land available for clean energy development. The Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club have exclusively endorsed Brad Avakian because he stands alone as the candidate with a proven record as an environmental champion throughout his public service.

Brad is the candidate with the most experience holding both public agencies and private corporations accountable. We need a watchdog who will make sure that taxpayer resources are used wisely -- including overseeing the millions of dollars that flow from state coffers to private contractors. Brad will work to make sure those corporations are following the rules, such as protections to ensure women earn equal pay for equal work. That's one of the reasons that he's earned the sole endorsement of Mother PAC, Basic Rights Oregon’s Equality PAC, and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC, the groups that have led the fight for equality.

Brad's vision for Secretary of State falls squarely within its mission. His ideas are bold, progressive and achievable.

In fact, Ballotpedia’s national fact-checking publication Verbatim recently investigated Val Hoyle’s claim that Brad Avakian is speaking to issues outside the role of Secretary of State, and determined that Hoyle’s claim was inaccurate.

We are disappointed to see Val's attacks against Brad. Her accusations aren't any more credible than her calls to get big money out of politics -- while her campaign rakes in a record-breaking $250,000 check from a Wall Street billionaire.

Brad Avakian is the real progressive champion in this race. We’ve seen his consistent hard work and progressive leadership up close. He has the right vision for the office and the experience to make it a reality.

We urge you to join us in electing Brad as our next Secretary of State.

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